Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Miri Malaysia

Executive summary by Darmansjah

Why Go
As the second largest city in Sarawak, Miri is a good pit shop for those planning to head to the four major national parks that surround this city. There is also an array of commendable restaurant, cafes, bars and hotels perfect for a short getaway, and is a quanit alternative to the bustling Kuching.

When To Go
The temperature of Miri is relatively constant throughout the year, thus visiting this city is possible all year round. However, tis best to go from March to August and October to November, as Miri faces the problem of smoky haze caused by forest fires and clearing in Kalimantan during August and September.

How To Go
Both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines fly from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to Miri International Airpot.

Best For History
Located ata Canada Hill, Petroleum Museum has a few interesting displays on the source of the city’s wealth as well as exhibition of photographs and infromation on the petroleum industry (6085 635 516; Jln. Canada Hill; 9am-5pm Tue-sun; free).

Best For Shopping
Taking palce every Friday evening to midday Sunday, Saberkas Weekend Market is one of the most colourful and friendliest market in Sarawak. Expect to find traditional handicrafts, jungle produce and seafood delicacies.

Best For Atmosphere
Not far from Sabekas Weekend Market stands the atmospheric San Ching Tian Temple, which is the largets Taoist temple in Southeast Asia. Displaying Oriental characteristics in its ingricate dragon reliefs were brought all the way over from China. Expect colourful wall art, delicate lotus dsing motifs and a peaceful environment.

Best For Walking
An award wining civic entre taht is rich in cultural, artistic and architectural features, City Fan is an expanse of themed gardens that boasts the largest open-air amphitheatre in Malaysia and an impressive sport complex.

Best For Lazing
A clean, palm-lined strecth of sand about 15 minutes outside town by bus, Hawaii Beach offers a perfect location for swimming and sun tanning. Spot fishermen selling fresh catches along the sparkling and sandy seaport, or stay over a night or two at the chalets along the coast.

Eat And Drink
Apollo Seafood Centre is a popular Chinese seafood restaurant that is ruputed to have the best seafood in Miri. We recommend the crabs and fried midin (a type o jungle fern) with belacan. For big spenders, opt for lobsters, which are taken straight out of the tank.

Not far from Yu Lan Plaza stands the lively Central Market – a large hawker centre that covers all the bases of Chines, Malay and Indian food. This is easily the cheapest and best place to eat in Miri. Cross the street to Unity Food Centre to find more variety of local delicacies (Jln. Brooke).
WZT Cafe is a popular coffee shop or eatery good for breakfast and you can choose from toast served any number of ways. At lunch, the noodle dishes like marudi kue tiaw, belacan bee hoon and kueh chap are some of the recommended dishes (Jln. Merpati; breakfast and lunch).
Islamic Restaurant is a simple canteen that is one of Miri’s best indian eateries. The chef whips up tasty treats like mouht-watering tandoori chicken and aloo gobi (Indian potato and cauliflower dish) 299 Jln Maju.
Ming Cafe is an ever-busy eating emporium that serves Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western food. It also offers a veriety of beverages from fresh juices, signature tapioca teas to an assortment of beers and cocktails (cnr Jln North Yu Seng & Jln Merbau; mingcafe.com.my. luch and dinneer).
Just 15 minutes away from Miri Airpot, Somerset Hotel is a value-for-money accommodation with clean and comfortable rooms, all at a surpiringly low cost. le Brasserie Bistro serves a variety of scrumptious local and western dishes (608 422 777; somersethotelmiri.com; 12 kwantung road). The only proper backpacker-style option for miles, Highlands is a great place to meet other travellers. Cleans and presentable dorms and private rooms are available for a reasonable price. It is located on the top floor of the block of shops on the west side of town beside the Sungai Miri (608 422 327; 1271 Jln Sri Dagang).
Within walking distance from major shopping areas and government offices, Palace Inn is significantly more comfortable and better run than most others in this price range, with perk of 24-hour free Wifi connection. (608 421 999; sarawak-hotels.com/palace-miri; Lot 192 Jln kwantung).
Miri Mariot Resort & Spa is set within the paradise of world famous national parks and diving spots. This hotel boasts the largest pool in Sarawak, and its exotic aromas and soothing music at the Mandara Spa gurantee a relaxing experience. (608 542 1121; marriott.com/myymc; Jln Temenggong Datuk Oyong lawai).
Park City Everly Hotel is a large resort-style hotel fronting the South China Sea along an attractive beach. The Hotel has 167 tastefully furnished rooms and suites with commendable amenities. (608 440 288; vhhotel.com; Jln Temenggong Datuk Oyong Lawai).

Your Recommendations
Party Away; A short taxi ride from city centre hotels takes you to warren of small bar-lined streets called Pelita Commercial Centre, where funky pubs, lively bars and clubs congregate. Select over a hundred cocktails at Island; join the younger crowd at Balcony with music mixed of R&B, pop and techno; or watch a soccer game at Al Fresco.
Nature's Wonder; Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gunung Mulu National Park's wonders include the world's most brilliant old-growth tropical rainforest, the pinnacles formation on Mt Api, rugged mountains, deep gorges with clear rivers, and a unique mosaic of living habitas (608 5433 561, mulupark,com; 8am-5pm).

Picnic Perfect; A perennial favorite among the locals, Lambir Hills National Park is a scenic scrap of jungle that offers waterfalls, picinic areas and a clutch of pleasant walking trails through its dipterocarp rainforest. See the latuk Waterfall, climb the Bukit Pantu Hill, or go wildlife-watching and catch sight of gibbons, tarsiers and pangolins (608 549 1030; 81m-5pm).

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